B2B marketplace startup Ghost raises $30m to help brands and retailers move surplus inventory
Ghost, a members-only B2B marketplace for surplus inventory, announced it has raised $30 million in Series B funding, bringing the total to $68 million to date. Venture capital firm Cathay Innovation led the round with participation from existing investors Union Square Ventures, Equal Ventures and Eniac Ventures. The company will use the funds to hire for several roles in product, engineering and design while developing its platform further to meet rising demand.
Since coming out of stealth with a $20 million Series A in July of 2022, Ghost has been on a rapid growth trajectory. The company has experienced a 500% increase in uploaded inventory in the last year, gross merchandise value (GMV) run rate has increased over 10x year-over-year and the team has doubled in size. Ghost now counts over 1,000 members on its platform, including some of the world's best brands and global retailers in categories such as apparel, footwear, beauty and home goods.
Surplus inventory continues to be one of the most significant pain points for retailers and brands who have historically suffered from limited, inefficient and archaic liquidation options. In 2022, over $500 billion of excess inventory was sold at discount retailers, expected to grow to $830 billion by 2030 — while over $163 billion is discarded annually. The problem is becoming more complicated as supply chain issues continue to arise and demand becomes more difficult to predict.
Simon Wu, Partner, Cathay Innovation: "Ghost has found a way to fundamentally change the industry and unlock billions for both buyers and sellers by focusing on access. By allowing sellers to stop being 'price takers' and generate superior recovery rates while simultaneously granting buyers access to premium, highly sought-after inventory previously unattainable, Ghost grows the pie and creates win-win solutions for all parties. We're excited to partner with Josh and Dee - two well-known commodities in retail and tech and a natural founder-market fit - as they work to scale and expand into new categories and geographies."
Co-founders Josh Kaplan and Dee Murthy witnessed the challenge of inventory management first-hand at fashion holding company Five Four Group and started Ghost to solve the ever-evolving problem. Launched in 2021, Ghost offers a members-only B2B marketplace where brand sellers can discreetly and efficiently monetize their surplus inventory to vetted buyers. Its easy-to-use platform is a one-stop-shop for retailers and brands to buy, sell, price and ship excess goods powered by a data engine for greater discovery and increased conversion for buyers and sellers.
Josh Kaplan, Founder, Ghost: "We are leveraging data science and technology to solve a problem that has previously been addressed with phone calls and fax machines. Our alpha is the ability to predict everything from market pricing to sell-through, which is extremely powerful information for our customers. Through our team's deep expertise in the retail sector, Ghost has gained the trust of global brands across fashion, beauty, footwear, home goods and more. We are expanding our reach across the globe and connecting more of the world's best retailers than ever before."
Dee Murthy, Co-founder, Ghost: "With Cathay Innovation, we've gained a partner with an extensive understanding of the retail industry along with invaluable connections to a global consumer ecosystem that will help Ghost reach brands across the US, Europe and Asia. We look forward to working with them as we expand, grow and take Ghost to the next level."